THIS week we take a look at one long-standing village club, which is celebrating its 150th year.

According to local historian Ralph Whitlock, Farley Cricket Club was founded in 1866 with a match against near neighbours Pitton, for the prize of a barrel of beer.

This means the club is older than many county sides, and had been in existence for more than a decade before the first match was played.

Records show matches were played in various fields across the village before the club moved to its present site, the picturesque Coronation Field just next to All Saints’ Church in the 1950s.

In 1966, it re-enacted the original fixture for a centenary match with the same prize. The club captain was Brian Fletcher, who, along with his brother Cyril, was a club stalwart for decades.

Farley, arguably, reached its heyday in the late 80s and early 90s, when the club won the Salisbury and District League five seasons out of six, before joining the Hampshire Combination League.

Today, Farley has two sides in the Hampshire League as well as a busy programme of friendly fixtures. Its players represent Wiltshire at under 14 and 15 level, and it also has a number of players heavily involved in Wiltshire Seniors cricket.

Club president Gwyn Blenkinsop said: “I feel privileged to be president of Farley Cricket Club on this very special birthday.

"However, in order to reach this milestone, it has taken up considerable time, work and effort to help keep and maintain the club, its picturesque ground and its facilities up to the standards required. To this end, we owe so much to the Fletcher Family and others that the club still prospers 150 years on.

"In wishing Farley Cricket Club a happy birthday, may I also record my sincere thanks to all, both past and present who have made this occasion possible.”

Tomorrow, past and present members at Farley will celebrate the club's milestone with a dinner at the Red Lion Hotel.